NY Waterway, via Wiki Commons
Express buses, shuttle service, electric scooters, Citi Bike–now New Yorkers can add the ferry to their list of alternate transportation modes during the impending L train shutdown. The MTA announced that when the 15-month hiatus hits in April, they’ll launch a temporary ferry service that will run express from Williamsburg to Stuyvesant Cove near the East Village. According to the agency, “In response to feedback from customers and elected officials, the temporary service will now include 240-passenger vessels that will provide up to 61% more capacity than originally planned.”
The ferry service, to be operated by NY Waterway, is separate from the NYC Ferry, which is operated by Hornblower. The service’s $22 million price tag is being funded with federal dollars.
Originally, the two vessels had a planned capacity of 149 passengers. In addition to the increase to 240 passengers, there will also be a third ferry “fully staffed and ready for immediate use” if there are any service interruptions. The ferry will run every seven-and-a-half minutes during peak hours (7-10am and 5-8pm), allowing for an hourly capacity of nearly 2,000 passengers in each direction. On weekdays, the ferry will run from 6am to midnight; on Friday and Saturday night it will run until 2am.
It’s estimated that 225,000 New Yorkers rely on the L train to travel between Manhattan and Brooklyn. The temporary ferry service is projected to accommodate only four percent of them. Though the shutdown doesn’t start until April 2019, L train riders have been getting a taste, as the line began a series of 15 weekend shutdowns in August. It will not run for all weekends in October and two in November.
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